Did I go way up north for a book signing? Spend several hours bundled up as I struggled to sign books while wearing two pairs of gloves?
Last Saturday, I spent four hours at a local authors book signing fair—and came home feeling like I had a solid covering of ice on me. But no, I didn’t travel far up north to the frozen tundra. Nor did the facility accidentally activate their air conditioning unit.
The Cannon River Winery inCannon Falls,Minnesotaheld their First Annual Local Authors Fair onFebruary 11, 2012. Because of the wine, they needed to keep it cool. In their advertisement, they promised a warm, comfortable atmosphere. As the frigid air hit me, I couldn’t help laughing a bit at that.
Aside from shivering and shuddering from the frosty atmosphere, it was fun. More than a dozen local writers took part in the fair, representing everything from romance and mystery to history and action adventure, along with books for children and young adult books. I sat with a friend who’d self-published a caregiver novel (back before the indi publishing came about), while across from me was a man who writes action adventure.
One of the things I learned from this signing was that most of the writers claim far greater sales from ebooks than paperback or hardcover. These days, the consumer has less discretionary income than ever and is unwilling to spend big bucks. They’d rather buy several books at a lower cost than one more expensive book in paperback or hardcover.
I definitely fit into the cheap buyer category, being a collector of books, or, as I sometimes claim, a bookaholic. I now have over 300 books on my desktop Kindle and almost ten pages of books on my Nook.
Back to the signing. I was pleased with the result, having sold four books. But, more than that, I enjoyed meeting other writers, learning their stories. The couple at the table behind mine had gathered many letters from family members and relatives. Those letters were all written by a Civil War soldier, an amazing find. The couple compiled the collection into a narrative form, resulting in a thick hardcover priced somewhere around $30.00. They were a fun older couple from somewhere near or inRochester,Minnesotaand belong to an historical organization. The husband wore a Union uniform while his wife was dressed in the style of the times. I couldn’t help thinking of the books I’d read that were set during those times, and the trip I took toCharleston,South Carolina. It was there I visited the park containing a cannon from the Civil War. Seeing the old but well kept homes made it easy to imagine myself living in those times, especially after taking a carriage ride through the beautiful old city.
I also talked with a man who had a YA fantasy novel, published through a small publisher, and gained some useful information from him in regards to editing. The covers for his published book, and the next one, which isn’t out yet, are especially beautiful and I intend to investigate that publishing company as I have a YA adventure novel I want to have published.
All in all, I’d say the major benefit of the book signing fair was the camaraderie, meeting the authors, getting away from the solitude inherent in being a writer. Somehow, it is encouraging, even though surviving in the industry is difficult.
Despite the giant bins of ice behind my table, which contributed in a big way to put the layers of ice around my body, I’m glad I took part in the fair and will do so again. Hopefully, the temperature outside won’t be zero, as it was when we started out from home that day.
Joan K. Maze
Writing as J. K. Maze
Murder By Mistake, book 1 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, available as an ebook from Red Rose Publishing, B&N, Fictionwise and Amazon
Murder By Mistake, book 1 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, available in paperback from Amazon
Murder For Kicks, book 2 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, available as an ebook from Red Rose Publishing, Fictionwise and Amazon
Framed In Fear, romantic suspense, available from Red Rose Publishing, Fictionwise and Amazon
Murder By Spook, book 3 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, in progress